When I asked my friend Robert the amount of money he saves every month, he took time to reply. Indeed, I only expected him to just give me the figure of his savings. Unfortunately, it took much more time than I had thought.
“In any case if I am to save, I must sacrifice or forego some things at home,” he finally replied.
Instead, his response created another concern in my heart, although I kept it to myself.
“I make sure I promise to pay my debts at the end of next month’s salary,” Robert said as he tried to side-step the actual question.
He could not disclose the amount he earns but insisted on how the salary has to be spent on rent, clothing, clearing debts, food and other related family problems.
I noticed he had not said anything about saving for the future. Even saving, he mentioned after being reminded.
I was worried because I realized no one reminds my friend about saving most especially when he has just been paid.
However, in a lengthy conversation, Robert expressed concern and the need to save. He is quite aware of how saving maybe important to his life.
“Through saving, I can be able to invest in some profitable projects. It is also possible that I can become my own boss,” he says.
However, the need to sacrifice some of the needs and responsibilities, to a certain extent limits his efforts.
“It has been my dream to at least start a business that brings in a side income, so as to keep my salary free from certain costs like rent, and debts that sometimes have interest thus becoming expensive and affecting my earnings,” he narrates.
Robert believes that it is hard to avoid certain things at home. Allan, a businessman and mechanic in Nyabugogo, says for people to save, there is sometimes need to give up some things in their daily life.
“We earn differently and have different plans based on the economic potential. However, at any point for the need to save and invest, there must be sacrifice,” he said.
He explained that it appears to be hard life since individuals need the best and deserved lifestyle. As a piece of advice, he stressed that it’s out of the pain, that others benefit in the long run.
“There is no gain without pain. It is within that view that we avoid spending all we earn and save to invest so that we can gain out of that pain, given time,” he stressed.
For individuals to break the vicious cycle of poverty there is need to work hard, save part of the earnings so as to invest in developmental projects.
Investing may not only mean getting into business, but even starting-up a permanent undertaking that can also benefit the offspring.